Democratic states call for federal crackdown on gas stoves

A coalition of 11 Democratic attorneys general wrote to federal regulators Monday, urging them to take action cracking down on natural gas-powered stovetops over concerns about their impact on respiratory health. The letter — led by Washington, D.C. Attorney General Brian Schwalb and joined by his counterparts in New York, Massachusetts and Maryland among other states — to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) came in response to the agency’s request for information about gas stove hazards in March. The state attorneys general argued in favor of heightened restrictions on the appliance. “Today, I’m leading 11 AGs calling for federal action to address the health & safety risks of gas stoves, which emit pollutants that have a disparate negative impact on children & underserved communities and put DC residents at risk of asthma and other respiratory illnesses,” Schwalb tweeted Monday.  “I urge the CPSC to develop uniform performance and ventilation standards for gas stoves and to increase consumer awareness about the health risks these appliances pose,” he added. SCHUMER ROASTED FOR SAYING ‘NOBODY IS TAKING AWAY YOUR GAS STOVE’ JUST MONTHS BEFORE NY BANNED GAS STOVES Schwalb’s letter argued that the CPSC should adopt voluntary standards or mandatory regulations curbing gas stove emissions that “degrade indoor air quality” in homes nationwide. The attorneys general pointed to government studies showing household appliances, including gas stoves, are contributors to indoor carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and particle pollution. In addition, the state officials said the CPSC should spearhead a public education campaign about the harms of gas stoves while requiring manufacturers to attach warning labels to products. BIDEN’S ENERGY SECRETARY MET WITH CHINA-CONNECTED GROUP FUELING GAS STOVE BANS IN US “In sum, the presence of gas stoves in households, even when not in use, can lead to indoor air pollution levels that pose a severe health risk, especially for particularly susceptible consumers, such as children, and for households in underserved communities,” they wrote to the CPSC. “The States urge the CPSC to take action that would reduce the health hazards posed by these appliances,” they continued. “The CPSC may do this by developing regulations, including performance standards for active and off modes and ventilation requirements, that would drastically reduce the emissions from gas stoves.” While the attorneys general floated the possibility of addressing health concerns through voluntary standards supported by industry, they later argued such an action may lead to “inadequate standards that will not protect against the health risks to consumers.” Instead, they said the CPSC should initiate a rulemaking to develop mandatory gas stoves standards. “Mandatory performance standards could include, among others, standards for gas stoves to address methane leakage, including automatic shut-off valves, and standards that address the elevated levels of hazardous pollution emissions, including sensors,” they added in the letter. And the letter also lauded efforts in Washington, D.C., and New York where natural gas hookups will soon be banned in new construction. In January, a President Biden-appointed CPSC member said a nationwide ban on gas stoves was “on the table,” citing potential respiratory health concerns. The comments sparked outrage among Republicans, consumer advocacy groups and the gas industry and ultimately forced the White House to disavow any potential ban. The blowback also forced the CPSC to distance itself from a ban on the appliance, but on March 1, it issued its request for information, asking stakeholders for feedback on how to mitigate potential harms posed by gas stoves. The agency gave the public until Monday to file comments. “The CPSC has called for information relating to ‘chronic hazards associated with gas ranges and proposed solutions,’” the American Gas Association (AGA), a leading industry group, said in its comments Monday.  “This presumes that there are ‘chronic hazards’ that need to be addressed. AGA respectfully submits that the available body of scientific research does not provide sufficient or consistent evidence demonstrating that there are chronic hazards from gas ranges.”
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